Law is the body of rules and regulations that govern the conduct of individuals, institutions, and groups in society. These laws protect the rights of people and ensure that everyone is treated fairly and justly.
There are two major legal traditions – Common Law and Civil law. Both traditions differ from one another in source, concept, rule and development history.
There are several sources of legal information available to students, including scholarly law reviews and handbooks. These publications can provide background material and definitions, as well as case law and statutes.
These sources are also an excellent resource for finding current cases and laws. Many of these sources have online databases that can make finding the right materials much faster.
A treatise is a book that deals with a specific area of law and provides in-depth analysis and commentary. They are often multi-volume sets that are arranged alphabetically.
Lexis Advance and Westlaw are popular legal research search engines that have case reporters, statutes, legal periodicals, law reviews and secondary authorities. These databases also have various specialized finding tools, including index volumes for statutes and regulations compilations and private published versions of statutes.
State and specialty law collections pulling together diverse types of authority are becoming increasingly common on CD-ROM and the Internet. These collections can be very helpful in identifying primary authorities, particularly when a researcher has no particular subject to focus on.
Law can be a confusing field to research. It is essential to choose the right research topics and make sure you use reliable resources.